Demand Basic Fire Protection for Farmed Animals
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Every year, hundreds of thousands of farmed animals, locked in cages in massive industrial warehouses, suffer horrendous deaths in fires. On October 1 of this year, for example, 4,200 piglets were killed in a barn fire at a nursery building at Deerfield Farms, North Carolina. On January 31, 300,000 hens suffered and died in a single fire at S&R Egg farm in Wisconsin.
So far in 2014, at least 400,000 farmed animals have perished by being burned alive or choking to death from smoke inhalation in commercial facility fires.
Agricultural facilities are not currently required to install smoke detectors or sprinklers in their warehouses, and so they often don’t bother. The lives of animals, it seems, are valued less than the cost of installing basic fire protection systems.
Fire standards are in place for "Category A" animals, who are animals that cannot be easily moved in an emergency, including bears and elephants. Tragically however, "Category B" animals, including most animals densely confined on factory farms (chickens, cows, goats, pigs, sheep, and other animals), are currently granted zero protection.
Standards that included Category B animals were considered in 2012 - all newly constructed farm animal housing facilities would have had to be equipped with smoke control and sprinkler systems - and in fact NFPA members did vote in favor of a certified amendment.
However, the lobbying efforts of Big Ag were too great and the amendment failed to pass balloting by the standard's Animal Housing Facilities Committee. In the debate leading up to the decision, Michael Formica, chief environmental counsel for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), made the case against mandating fire protection based on cost.
It is morally unacceptable to consider smoke detectors and sprinkler systems optional in any commercial facility that houses animals in cages that prevent them from escaping in the event of a fire. 400,000 animals killed in fires in 2014 alone is morally unacceptable.
Big Ag is not going to proactively implement these protections. The only way to enact change is to speak up, loudly, for what is right.
Join us in demanding that Jim Pauley, the president of the National Fire Protection Association, amend NFPA 150 to include Category B animals.
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Amend NFPA 150 to Include Category B Animals
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